Happy New Year! We hope you had a fun and relaxing break with family and friends.
As always, the new year has us full of optimism, convinced that this time around, there really are 26 hours in the day and eight days in the week. To stay focused through all the hustle and craziness, we’ve got our annual list of New Year’s resolutions.
The only rule: When we’re tempted to adopt more than a few resolutions, we list them in rank order, cut the list in half, and throw out the second half. A few that we’re considering:
Do one thing this year that we didn't manage last year, and that we’re sort of bummed about. So what if this particular goal won’t advance our careers, improve the home decorating situation, or change the world? It’ll change our world – and that’s enough.
Ditch the frenemies. Life is too short to waste energy on people we think we’re supposed to like but actually dislike. It just makes sense to spend time with real friends and let everyone else go.
Go to the dentist. Twice. I am a certified dentist-phobe, so I make this resolution every year. I have to, or it won’t happen. Woody Guthrie had a similar resolution, back in 1942: Wash teeth, if any. Other “New Year’s Rulin’s” from Guthrie: Write a song a day. Read lots good books. Change socks. Don’t get lonesome. Stay glad. Make up your mind. Wake up and fight.
Laugh -- and cry. There’s nothing like a good laugh. But if the day or week is just a wreck, there’s nothing wrong with a good cry, either.
Make old friends. There’s nothing like being a full-time working parent to put a stop to socializing. And while I meet plenty of people in my work and through my kids, I miss the heart-to-hearts I used to have with my best pals. In many cases, it’s not distance that makes it hard to get together – it’s our crazy schedules. Time to make the effort.
Buy local. There’s a reason that shopping malls, downtowns and formerly quaint shopping districts are seemingly turning into non-descript malls populated by the same giant stores: Small and local businesses are getting forced out. Keeping those businesses vibrant can be as simple as picking up a book from the local bookseller (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or buying produce at the farmers' market.
Photograph the kids once a week, every week, for a year. I wish I could remember where I saw this idea. I'm not sure if it's totally sweet or kind of creepy. Thoughts?
Spend 10 minutes outside each day. If we can’t take even 10 minutes to step outside and breathe in the air or take a short walk, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate how we’re spending our time. (Of course, as we write this, it's about seven degrees out on the East Coast.)
Miss more bedtimes. Yes, you read that right. After years of killing myself to make it home to tuck my kids in bed almost every night, it’s time to return to some semblance of a social life. Going to more industry events (which are often in the evening) could only help, too. I still plan to be home most nights, but you know what? Their dad can handle it.
Turn off the smartphone -- or at least, stop looking at it constantly. Putting it in a hard-to-reach place actually helps, if you can believe that. And I need to remember that the world will not end if I skip a day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram … you name it.
Plan an adventure. Whether it’s a day trip, a weekend excursion or weeks in some fabulous locale, it’s time to take a trip. For fun, not work. The change of scenery will do anyone good. Really.
Change the font. Last year, we suggested changing the default setting in your word processor (or whatever program you use the most often) to something else, if for no other reason than to mix things up. So why not go for it again?
Missed our last issue? Here you go:
Last Minute, Low-Cost Holiday Gifts
If you liked this story, you might also like:
You'll Never Regret
New Year's Resolutions That Might Actually Work
New Year's Resolutions for the Rest of Us
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